What would you rather do: go to jail or view the corpses of crash victims? This was question an Ohio DUI offender had to answer when he pled no contest to operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol earlier this month.
Judge Mike Cicconetti, who is known for handing down bizarre sentences, told Jonathan Tarase, 27, he could avoid jail time if he agrees to view bodies of driving fatalities. Judge Cicconetti suspended 60 days of a 65 day sentence, allowing Tarase to spend three of the remaining five days in a driver intervention program. The remaining two days are to be spent “on-call” to view the bodies. The unusual condition was in addition to a $600 fine and a license suspension. “It would not be done without management by the Probation Department, or without all due sensitivities and the victim’s family’s approval,” Cicconetti told ABCNews.com. “This is not some morbid curiosity. This is to prevent acts like this, and as a notice to everyone else in my community: There will be consequences that you may not like.” Cicconetti has grown a reputation for handing out controversial sentences. In 2009 Cicconetti sentenced a man to wear a chicken suit in public as punishment for solicitation of a prostitute. The choice in attire was in direct reference to the Chicken Ranch Brothel. In 2005 Cicconetti sentenced a woman to spend the night out in the woods for abandoning 33 kittens in the forest during winter. In 2011 a couple pled guilty to taking an unregistered raft to Grand River, ignoring flood emergency warnings, and were sentenced to standing in a kiddy pool, wearing life jackets, while handing out safety pamphlets during a food festival. Surprisingly, I don’t completely disagree with Tarase’s sentence. I think mostly because it doesn’t involve humiliation like Cicconetti’s typical sentences. In the course of my practice, I have seen the deceased victims of DUI involved accidents and I can tell you first hand that it’ll leave an impression on anyone unfortunate enough to have to view such a thing.